A new year brings with it new promises, and yet, if this episode of The Gifted reminds us of something it’s that no matter how much we wish for it, things don’t just change for the better because we want them to. They don’t even change because we need them to, no. We need to work at it.
Which is about as easy as it sounds, aka, not at all.
In its first ten episodes The Gifted was solid overall and pretty damn good at times, and its best moments came when the show, like in “3 x 1,” went heavy on the messages, but also on episodes where they went heavy on the action and allowed characters to interact in sometimes surprising combinations.
Which is why this episode works, even with a little bit of a slow interlude in the middle. It works because it respects the characters, treats them like people, provides us with tons of action and yes, because even if the show never quite hits all the high points it should, it hits enough to make us feel.
Should we be asking more of The Gifted? Maybe. But if we are, let’s be clear that the reason we’re doing it is because we think the show is good and it could be even better. It could be special.
So, let’s go into the morality, the decisions and the setup of “3 x 1”:
YOUR KIND ISN’T WELCOME HERE
There are two sides to everything, even a story like this one, that we’ve consumed mostly from the side of the mutants. And I’m not even talking about the right and wrong of it all – I’m talking about how these people who have been persecuted, people who are hated for who they are, should act.
Should they turn the other cheek? Should they put morality over results? Should they worry about the common good or should they put their own well-being above everything?
On the side of “good,” if you will, there’s Marcos, and it’s so very interesting that we get his point of view in contrast to Lorna’s, because they both want the same thing: they want their baby to be safe, to be born in a world where it won’t be persecuted. It’s just that Marcos – who we already saw struggle with his conscience when he had to do bad things in order to save Lorna – doesn’t believe that the end justifies the means. Or, at least, he doesn’t want to believe it. He wants to be better.
The question is, can he afford to? Is this a world that allows for nuance? Is he protecting his kid by trying to look out for people who’d never look out for him? At what point do we need to put our our own needs first?
I’m not sure either, but I appreciate The Gifted for making us consider the question.
THE TIME FOR MERCY IS OVER
Though the whole business with Trask and Turner bores me to tears, I understand the message the show is trying to send here, the same message they’re trying to send with Lorna – and a message that sort of resonates in the world we’re living in today. Where do we draw the line?
The end of the episode makes clear that the show has chosen its side: the end doesn’t justify the means. Or at least, it shouldn’t. But in real life, how easy is that decision? What would we choose if we were in the position to make a choice?
Questions, questions. Interesting ones, at that. Here’s to more of those.
Other things to note:
*I didn’t like Esme when there was just one of her. I like her less now.
*The funeral juxtaposition is very powerful. And yet, for all that the episode starts out strong, it gets lost a little after that.
*I was happy to see the show allowed Thunderbird the opportunity to grieve. We rarely see men crying on TV, and if we’re gonna break through the culture of toxic masculinity we need more realistic depictions of grief.
*Dear God, can anything make Agent Turner compelling?
*Marcos I LOVE YOU.
*”Hate feeds on fear. And if you run, hate wins.”
*No one missed you, Wes. That’s a lie.
*I wouldn’t let Andy go anywhere by himself right now.
*Are we allowed to say the name Magneto?
*It’s also hella refreshing that the show is dealing with Polaris being bipolar in the way they are – like a normal thing that happens in life. Which it is. TV is still ways away when it comes to depictions of mental health problems. This is a good step forward.
*Ugh, Esme. UGH.
*The trailer looks intense. And no episode next week – just the 2 hour finale now.
Check out the trailer for The Gifted finale:
The Gifted airs Mondays at 9/8c on FOX.